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Those include partnerships with the big players in media — starting with NBCUniversal, which will be sharing live video and clips from properties including NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo.
Twitter also announced some of the shows it will be airing as part of the ESPN deal announced earlier today: SportsCenter Live (a Twitter version of the network’s flagship) and Fantasy Focus Live (a live stream of the fantasy sports podcast).
Plus, the company said it’s expanding its existing partnership with Viacom with shows like Comedy Central’s Creator’s Room, BET Breaks and MTV News.
During the NewFronts event, Twitter’s head of video Kayvon Beykpour said daily video views on the platform have nearly doubled in the past year. And Kay Madati (pictured above), the company’s head of content partnerships, described the company as “the ultimate mobile platform where video and conversation share the same screen.”
As Twitter continues to invest in video content, it’s been emphasizing its advantage in live video, a theme that continued in this year’s announcement.
“Twitter is the only place where conversation is tied to video and the biggest live moments, giving brands the unique ability to connect with leaned in consumers who are shaping culture,” said Twitter Global VP of Revenue and Content Partnerships Matthew Derella in a statement. “That’s our superpower.”
During the event, Derella also (implicitly) contrasted Twitter with other digital platforms that have struggled with questions about transparency and whether ads are running in an appropriate environment. Tonight, he said marketers could say goodbye to unsafe brand environments and a lack of transparency: “And we say hello to you being in control of where your video aligns … we say hello to a higher measure of transparency, we say hello to new premium inventory and a break from the same old choices.”
On top of all the new content, Twitter is also announcing new ad programs. There are Creator Originals, a set of scripted series from influencers who will be paired up with sponsored brands. (The program is powered by Niche, the influencer marketing startup that Twitter acquired a few years ago.) And there’s a new Live Brand Studio — as the name suggests, it’s a team that works with marketers to create live video.
Here are some other highlights from the content announcements:
- CELEBrate, a series where people get heartwarming messages from their idols from Ellen Digital Studios.
- Delish Food Day and IRL from Hearst Magazines Digital Media.
- Power Star Live, which is “inspired by the cultural phenomenon of Black Twitter” and live streamed from the Atlanta University Center, from Will Packer Media.
- BuzzFeed News is renewing AM to DM until the end of 2018.
- Vice News is launching a new series called The New Space Race.
- Pattern, a new brand focused on weather- and science-related news.
- #HereWeAre programming from the Huffington Post (which, like TechCrunch, is owned by Verizon/Oath), History, Vox and BuzzFeed News that highlights women around the world.
- The Call of Duty World League will air highlights and Championship Sunday for the rest of the season.
CEO Jack Dorsey closed the event by thanking advertisers: “We want to continue to serve. We want to contineu to serve the public conversation, and we want to continue to serve you.”
Lip-syncing social network Musical.ly is getting into original content, thanks to new deals with Viacom, NBCU and Hearst, which will bring short-form video series to the app. However, unlike the original videos found on Snapchat – an app that’s often the next step up for the tween-age Musical.ly audience – these shows are designed to be interactive. That is, the shows… Read More
Social – TechCrunch
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Will Donald Glover be getting his own ‘Star Wars Story’? It’s not impossible!
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There’s confusion about whether a meeting between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the European Union’s parliament — which is due to take place next Tuesday — will go ahead as planned or not.
The meeting was confirmed by the EU parliament’s president this week, and is the latest stop on Zuckerberg’s contrition tour, following the Cambridge Analytics data misuse story that blew up into a major public scandal in mid March.
However, the discussion with MEPs that Facebook agreed to was due to take place behind closed doors. A private format that’s not only ripe with irony but was also unpalatable to a large number of MEPs. It even drew criticism from some in the EU’s unelected executive body, the European Commission, which further angered parliamentarians.
Now, as the FT reports, MEPs appear to have forced the parliament’s president, Antonio Tajani, to agree to live-streaming the event.
Guy Verhofstadt — the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats group of MEPs, who had said he would boycott the meeting if it took place in private — has also tweeted that a majority of the parliament’s groups have pushed for the event to be streamed online.
EP President Tajani forced by five of the eight political groups – representing a majority of MEPs – to open the meeting with #Zuckerberg by webstreaming the hearing.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 18, 2018
And a Green Group MEP, Sven Giegold, who posted an online petition calling for the meeting not to be held in secret — has also tweeted that there is now a majority among the groups wanting to change the format. At the time of writing, Giegold’s petition has garnered more than 25,000 signatures.
Das dürfen wir uns nicht bieten lassen! Die Anhörung von Mark #Zuckerberg im EU-Parlament soll im Geheimen stattfinden. #Facebook verspricht Transparenz, will sich aber der öffentlichen Verantwortung in Europa entziehen. Jetzt Petition unterschreiben: https://t.co/dU3dJixztd pic.twitter.com/hCcxgGHJGC
— Sven Giegold (@sven_giegold) May 17, 2018
MEP Claude Moraes, chair of the EU parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee — and one of the handful of parliamentarians set to question Zuckerberg (assuming the meeting goes ahead as planned) — told TechCrunch this morning that there were efforts afoot among political group leaders to try to open up the format. Though any changes would clearly depend on Facebook agreeing to them.
After speaking to Moraes, we asked Facebook to confirm whether it’s open to Zuckerberg’s meeting being streamed online — say, via a Facebook Live. Seven hours later we’re still waiting for a response, including to a follow up email asking if it will accept the majority decision among MEPs for the hearing to be live-streamed.
The LIBE committee had been pushing for a fully open hearing with the Facebook founder — a format which would also have meant it being open to members of the public. But that was before a small majority of the parliament’s political groups accepted the council of presidents’ (COP) decision on a closed meeting.
Although now that decision looks to have been rowed back, with a majority of the groups pushing the president to agree to the event being streamed — putting the ball back in Facebook’s court to accept the new format.
Of course democracy can be a messy process at times, something Zuckerberg surely has a pretty sharp appreciation of these days. And if the Facebook founder pulls out of meeting simply because a majority of MEPs have voted to do the equivalent of “Facebook Live” the hearing, well, it’s hard to see a way for the company to salvage any face at all.
Zuckerberg has agreed to be interviewed onstage at the VivaTech conference in Paris next Thursday, and is scheduled to have lunch with French president Emmanuel Macron the same week. So pivoting to a last minute snub of the EU parliament would be a pretty high stakes game for the company to play. (Though it’s continued to deny a U.K. parliamentary committee any face time with Zuckerberg for months now.)
The EU Facebook agenda
The substance of the meeting between Zuckerberg and the EU parliament — should it go ahead — will include discussion about Facebook’s impact on election processes. That was the only substance detail flagged by Tajani in the statement on Wednesday when he confirmed Zuckerberg had accepted the invitation to talk to representatives of the EU’s 500 million citizens.
Moraes says he also intends to ask Zuckerberg wider questions — relating to how its business model impacts people’s privacy. And his hope is this discussion could help unblock negotiations around an update to the EU’s rules around online tracking technologies and the privacy of digital communications.
Looks like @Europarl_EN group leaders made the decision & Mark Zuckerberg has accepted invitation to come before us. As Chair of the @EP_Justice along with Rapporteur we will ask searching questions on behalf of 500m Europeans. Privacy, #dataprotection, interference in elections. https://t.co/1h0S670OHb
— Claude Moraes MEP (@Claude_Moraes) May 16, 2018
“One of the key things is that [Zuckerberg] gets a particular flavor of the genuine concern — not just about what Facebook is doing, but potentially other tech companies — on the interference in elections. Because I think that is a genuine, big, sort of tech versus real life and politics concern,” he says, discussing the questions he wants to ask.
“And the fact is he’s not going to go before the House of Commons. He’s not going to go before the Bundestag. And he needs to answer this question about Cambridge Analytica — in a little bit more depth, if possible, than we even saw in Congress. Because he needs to get straight from us the deepest concerns about that.
“And also this issue of processing for algorithmic targeting, and for political manipulation — some in depth questions on this.
“And we need to go more in depth and more carefully about what safeguards there are — and what he’s prepared to do beyond those safeguards.
“We’re aware of how poor US data protection law is. We know that GDPR is coming in but it doesn’t impact on the Facebook business model that much. It does a little bit but not sufficiently — I mean ePrivacy probably far more — so we need to get to a point where we understand what Facebook is willing to change about the way it’s been behaving up til now.
“And we have a real locus there — which is we have more Facebook users, and we have the clout as well because we have potential legislation, and we have regulation beyond that too. So I think for those reasons he needs to answer.”
“The other things that go beyond the obvious Cambridge Analytica questions and the impact on elections, are the consequences of the business model, data-driven advertising, and how that’s going to work, and there we need to go much more in depth,” he continues.
“Facebook on the one hand, it’s complying with GDPR [the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation] which is fine — but we need to think about what the further protections are. So for example, how justified we are with the ePrivacy Regulation, for example, and its elements, and I think that’s quite important.
“I think he needs to talk to us about that. Because that legislation at the moment it’s seen as controversial, it’s blocked at the moment, but clearly would have more relevance to the problems that are currently being created.”
Negotiations between the EU parliament and the European Council to update the ePrivacy Directive — which governs the use of personal telecoms data and also regulates tracking cookies — and replace it with a regulation that harmonizes the rules with the incoming GDPR and expands the remit to include internet companies and cover both content and metadata of digital comms are effectively stalled for now, as EU Member States are still trying to reach agreement. The directive was last updated in 2009.
“When the Cambridge Analytica case happened, I was slightly concerned about people thinking GDPR is the panacea to this — it’s not,” argues Moraes. “It only affects Facebook’s business model a little bit. ePrivacy goes far more in depth — into data-driven advertising, personal comms and privacy.
“That tool was there because people were aware that this kind of thing can happen. But because of that the Privacy directive will be seen as controversial but I think people now need to look at it carefully and say look at the problems created in the Facebook situation — and not just Facebook — and then analyze whether ePrivacy has got merits. I think that’s quite an important discussion to happen.”
While Moraes believes Facebook-Cambridge Analytica could help unblock the log jam around ePrivacy, as the scandal makes some of the risks clear and underlines what’s at stake for politicians and democracies, he concedes there are still challenging barriers to getting the right legislation in place — given the fine-grained layers of complexity involved with imposing checks and balances on what are also poorly understood technologies outside their specific industry niches.
“This Facebook situation has happened when ePrivacy is more or less blocked because its proportionality is an issue. But the essence of it — which is all the problems that happened with the Facebook case, the Cambridge Analytica case, and data-driven advertising business model — that needs checks and balances… So we need to now just review the ePrivacy situation and I think it’s better that everyone opens this discussion up a bit.
“ePrivacy, future legislation on artificial intelligence, all of which is in our committee, it will challenge people because sometimes they just won’t want to look at it. And it speaks to parliamentarians without technical knowledge which is another issue in Western countries… But these are all wider issues about the understanding of these files which are going to come up.
“This is the discussion we need to have now. We need to get that discussion right. And I think Facebook and other big companies are aware that we are legislating in these areas — and we’re legislating for more than one countries and we have the economies of scale — we have the user base, which is bigger than the US… and we have the innovation base, and I think those companies are aware of that.”
Moraes also points out that U.S. lawmakers raised the difference between the EU and U.S. data protection regimes with Zuckerberg last month — arguing there’s a growing awareness that U.S. law in this area “desperately needs to be modernized.”
So he sees an opportunity for EU regulators to press on their counterparts over the pond.
“We have international agreements that just aren’t going to work in the future and they’re the basis of a lot of economic activity, so it is becoming critical… So the Facebook debate should, if it’s pushed in the correct direction, give us a better handle on ePrivacy, on modernizing data protection standards in the US in particular. And modernizing safeguards for consumers,” he argues.
“Our parliaments across Europe are still filled with people who don’t have tech backgrounds and knowledge but we need to ensure that we get out of this mindset and start understanding exactly what the implications here are of these cases and what the opportunities are.”
In the short term, discussions are also continuing for a full meeting between the LIBE committee and Facebook.
Though that’s unlikely to be Zuckerberg himself. Moraes says the committee is “aiming for Sheryl Sandberg,” though he says other names have been suggested. No firm date has been conformed yet either — he’ll only say he “hopes it will take place as soon as possible.”
Threats are not on the agenda though. Moraes is unimpressed with the strategy the DCMS committee has pursued in trying (and so far failing) to get Zuckerberg to testify in front of the U.K. parliament, arguing threats of a summons were counterproductive. LIBE is clearly playing a longer game.
“Threatening him with a summons in UK law really was not the best approach. Because it would have been extremely important to have him in London. But I just don’t see why he would do that. And I’m sure there’s an element of him understanding that the European Union and parliament in particular is a better forum,” he suggests.
“We have more Facebook users than the US, we have the regulatory framework that is significant to Facebook — the UK is simply implementing GDPR and following Brexit it will have an adequacy agreement with the EU so I think there’s an understanding in Facebook where the regulation, the legislation and the audience is.”
“I think the quaint ways of the British House of Commons need to be thought through,” he adds. “Because I really don’t think that would have engendered much enthusiasm in [Zuckerberg] to come and really interact with the House of Commons which would have been a very positive thing. Particularly on the specifics of Cambridge Analytics, given that that company is in the UK. So that locus was quite important, but the approach… was not positive at all.”
Today we’re excited to announce Advanced Analysis, a new tool in beta for Google Analytics 360 customers. Advanced Analysis offers more detailed analysis techniques and deeper exploration capabilities, so you can improve your understanding of how people interact with your site and use those insights to deliver better experiences and reach your business goals.
Our top priority is to help you discover business insights while respecting user privacy. So, as with all Analytics capabilities, data utilized in Advanced Analysis is treated confidentially and securely.
Three ways to support sophisticated analysis
Advanced Analysis offers three new powerful techniques to help surface actionable insights about how people use your site: Exploration, Funnel Analysis, and Segment Overlap. And you can build audiences using any of the techniques, making it seamless to take action on the learnings that come out of your analysis.
With the Exploration technique, deeper analysis can be done in just a few clicks. Easily drag and drop multiple variables (segments, dimensions, and metrics) into the analysis canvas and see instant visualizations of your data. Exploration allows you to view and compare multiple analysis tabs in a single view — helping you test and refine your insights as you go.
Use the Funnel Analysis technique to understand the steps users take to complete actions on your site. For example, you can quickly see how users progress through your purchase process and identify steps where it can be improved. With the current Custom Funnels in Analytics 360, you can add up to 5 steps (e.g. Visited Site, Added Product to Cart, Started Checkout, Started Payment, Purchased), but Advanced Analysis lets you add up to 10 steps. These extra steps – along with the ability to add multiple segments and dimension breakdowns – give you a deeper look at how different groups of people interact with your site.
The Segment Overlap technique allows you to see how segments you’ve created in Analytics 360 intersect with one another. For example, suppose you ran a major display campaign last month that led to a lot of new first-time purchasers, and now you want to know if they’re sticking around to become repeat customers. Segment Overlap allows you to compare how much this group of first-time buyers overlaps with users who have made a purchase in the past month and with users who are now returning to your site.
Advanced Analysis in action
Let’s review an example of how you can use these techniques together to uncover helpful new insights and put them into action. Imagine you manage an ecommerce store that sells to people around the world. You want to know if there are opportunities to improve your site experience for international customers and drive more sales.
With Advanced Analysis, you can get those answers easily. Starting with Exploration, you organize your Analytics 360 data to show number of users and revenue by country. You realize that you have a lot of new users in India but no revenue — so there may be an opportunity to improve the checkout process and boost conversions.
From there, you investigate further with the Funnels technique to compare conversion rates at each step of your purchase funnel for US and India users. In doing so, you see there is a steep drop in completion rate on the checkout step for the India group. This confirms what you suspected, that the checkout flow can be improved for these users.
With just two clicks, you build an audience of India users who have added a product to their cart but didn’t purchase. Once the audience is created, you can use Optimize 360 to test a new checkout experience for that group. And then, with just a few more clicks in Analytics 360, you can push that audience to AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager to run a remarketing campaign, taking advantage of the now optimized checkout flow.
For enterprises looking to better understand customer journeys, Advanced Analysis helps surface hard-to-find insights and makes it easy to put those insights into action. Advanced Analysis will be rolling out over the coming weeks as a beta to all Analytics 360 users.
Posted by Dan Stone, Product Manager, Google Analytics 360
Directory submission is a tactic that has evolved dramatically since it first became known. Firstly, it is no longer referred to as a directory submission, simply because the term has received some negativity over the years.
Secondly, the goals have changed: we no longer focus on link acquisition. When you come to think of it, the whole link-building strategy has undergone the same evolution: it has become more integrated, meaning that we now pursue non-link-building tactics while still hoping to get some links anyway.
Some of the non-link-building benefits of getting listed that may still result in links include:
- Proactive reputation management (i.e. making sure your business name is mentioned a lot across the web)
- Discoverability (i.e. making sure your business is there when people use the directory search to find what they need). This comes with traffic and leads, which is always nice.
Getting listed: the opportunities
If you think directories are dead, think again: there are plenty of new and old directories out there that can send you traffic and leads. Here are just a few categories to look into.
SaaS and B2B directories
These come in several types and forms. Some are more traditional (free but with the option of charging you once for premium review):
While others charge you a monthly/yearly fee:
- Business.com ($ 299 annual fee)
- Tuugo.us ($ 9.99 per month for premium listing)
- Yalwa.com ($ 4.95 a month for premium listing)
These deserve a separate article (which you can find here). Apart from the ability to send local traffic (from people trying to discover a local service), they are also quite useful for so-called local citation building – in other words, they help search engines associate you with important locations.
Getting listed: the smart way
There are many more useful directories out there that can still drive sales, but choose wisely; in many cases, it’s an investment of some sort. In addition, it’s paramount to stay away from penalized directories. Here are a few tools I use to evaluate whether any directory or platform is worth the investment:
Find whether the platform ranks in Google
Does Google think a directory is good enough to rank it high in search results? Search positions are the most reliable sign of a site’s health.
There are not many sites that will let you see the stats for free, and Serpstat is one of the most affordable.
Simply run the domain in Serpstat to quickly see where it ranks and how its rankings are distributed among different search engines. There are also tools to analyze whether the domain is ever featured in Google, which is an important signal of health too. Here is the list of tools you can use.
Find whether the platform has any traffic
Since creating an alternative traffic source is one of the main goals here, this is vital. There aren’t many reliable ways to evaluate a website’s traffic unless you own it, but these are decent:
- Alexa.com: its major data source is their own toolbar, which may mean it’s somewhat limited. Yet, it is the oldest player in the field, and therefore quite trustworthy
- SimilarWeb.com: read more about their data sources here: “global ISP data, and thousands of add-ons, extensions, apps and plugins, plus a team of web crawlers that scan thousands of websites”.
Check whether your subcategory is linked to from elsewhere
I wouldn’t be an SEO if I paid no attention to backlinks, but in my defense, links are not just a sign of SEO ‘authority’ – they signal quality too; if someone links to it, it must be a good page.
I use Ahrefs bulk backlink analysis feature to quickly run a lot of pages and section to choose the best ones.
[NB: I only mention directories that have proven worth the investment based on their rankings and traffic.]
Have you listed your website in some directories and seen some solid traffic and leads? Share your tips and resources in the comments.
Last week fired FBI director James Comey went on a massive media tour—and the internet followed every minute of it.
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